Last night the NHL saw its first meeting of Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid, the two top selections in the 2015 draft.
It was a sloppy affair between 2 of the NHL’s cellar dwellers held the day after Trade Deadline Day, so not unexpected really. The Sabres just returned from a road trip on which they played 3 much tighter games, but failed to score in 2 of them. Back at home, the scoring woes continued with only 1 goal put on the board, but the tight defensive play left them as they allowed many freewheeling Oilers plays.
In the individual battle, Connor McDavid had the first and last words as he scored in the game’s first minute and also netted the game winning goal in overtime. He looked a bit more dynamic, as he has for the last few years, but Jack Eichel played a good solid game and had one especially nice defensive play in front of his own net.
While it will always be fun to compare their careers, these head-to-head battles are not likely to hold much significance due to the infrequency of playing in opposite conferences. Of course all involved would love if these 2 teams met in the Stanley Cup Finals in a few years. That will take much more effort on each side, from Ownership on down to stick boy, with plenty of new talent brought to each lineup as well. For now it is time to play out the season and see where each team slots in the draft. This is likely to be an eventful offseason, especially for the Oilers with most expecting them to deal existing assets at forward. Many improvements are needed for both teams and how they come about will be interesting to watch.